You can use the contents of your Boot Camp partition at the same time that you are running your Mac operating system. To do so, you use Fusion to power on the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine.

Boot Camp is Apple software that enables an Intel-based Mac to run Windows operating systems. Boot Camp requires you to choose between Mac or Windows at boot time. Boot Camp creates separate Mac and Windows partitions on your hard disk to create a dual-boot environment. When you use your Windows Boot Camp partition as a Fusion virtual machine, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Use your Boot Camp virtual machine and your Mac without rebooting and switching between them.
  • Share files between your Boot Camp virtual machine and your Mac, through shared folders, dragging files, or cutting and pasting text.
Note: Windows reactivation complications can occur if you do not install VMware Tools. In such a case, if you reactivate Windows in your Boot Camp virtual machine, and subsequently boot your Boot Camp partition natively, you will be prompted to reactivate Windows. Reactivating Windows in your native Boot Camp partition will result in your Boot Camp virtual machine requiring reactivation the next time you power it on, and so forth. Installing VMware Tools solves this problem.


You must have a Boot Camp partition in place before you start this procedure.

You must have administrator privileges to use the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine.


  1. Select Window > Virtual Machine Library.
  2. In the Virtual Machine Library window, click the Boot Camp thumbnail in the list of virtual machines, which identifies the partition that Fusion detected.
  3. (Optional) Type your Mac password to access the Boot Camp partition.
    Fusion creates a virtual machine that uses your Boot Camp partition and starts Windows.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions and restart your virtual machine when prompted.
    After Windows boots from your Boot Camp virtual machine, Fusion starts the installation of VMware Tools. VMware Tools enables full virtual machine functionality and optimizes performance for your Boot Camp partition when you use the partition as a virtual machine.
  5. When the VMware Tools installation is complete, reboot your computer.

What to do next

The first time you power on your Boot Camp virtual machine after you install VMware Tools, you must reactivate Windows.